Hi all! This is Part II of the Colombia blog post, which is dedicated to the second half of our trip where we explored the Quindío Department and stayed at Andy’s Family’s Finca. To read about the first part of our trip in Cartagena, click here.
Andy’s mom is from the Quindio Department of Colombia so a lot of their extended family lives there. Andy and I were lucky enough to visit and stay at their family’s finca near Pueblo Tapao. Let me tell you, this area of Colombia is the greenest, most gorgeous place that I have ever been.
Their family grows pineapple, plantains and coffee on the farm itself. Next to the house is every kind of fruit tree imaginable. Andy’s uncle gave us a tour and we tried fresh fruit off of every single tree — oranges, clementines, guanoabana, mango, sweet guava, sour guava … Btw, sour guava is the best fruit ever and it totally sucks that it’s too soft to import to the US because it’s literally like a lemon you can bite right into.
While we were staying at the finca, we had a chance to visit some nearby towns. Details below!
Salento is a misty mountain-top town (6k’ altitude) with stunning views. The town is filled with vibrantly painted hotels, shops and homes. The trims of the windows, doors and balconies are painted intricately with bright blues, yellows, pinks and greens. The main drag is Calle Real, which is right off the main square. Here, you will find amazing shopping with artisan crafts — jewelry, purses, clothing and more. I couldn’t resist buying a cowhide crossbody, known as a carriel, which is a bag traditionally used by cowboys and farmers of the Antioquia Department.
To get to Corora Valley, you hop in a Jeep Willy in the main square at Salento and take a twenty-five minute ride. They pack you in these Jeep Willys like sardines — I counted sixteen people in ours!
Cocora Valley is known for its wax palms, which are stunning and tower 150 feet above the ground. Andy and I grabbed a guide and hopped on some horses to explore. I can’t put into words how beautiful it was so pictures are below!
Filandia was very similar to Salento, but a lot less touristy. Not sure why everyone chose Salento as the ultimate tourist destination as this colorful little town is right nearby, but the beauty of this place is that it’s laid-back and filled with locals. Andy’s uncle took us to try on some of the traditional ponchos and cowboy hats, which was hilarious. We ate Picada Colombiana, which is a platter of various fried meats and vegetables. Fried yuca (cassava) is sooooo good!
Unfortunately, this was the last stop of the trip and it was time to head back to the real world 🙁
To anyone reading this — you absolutely have to make the trip to Colombia and explore both Cartagena and Quindio. Please reach out or comment below if you’d like additional details or recommendations!